“Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan recently recounted the story of his pitch to AMC, during which someone pointed out his show’s similarities to “Weeds,” nearly derailing the drama in its infancy. All these years later, with the dramas facing off head to head in a Sunday timeslot, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where “Weeds” doesn’t suffer from the comparison. The best thing you could say about “Weeds” is that it is truly a comedy by comparison, at least in theory.
Jill is repressing her emotional issues with Andy by extreme couponing, because this hodgepodge family is straight up broke. For Andy’s part, his method of dealing with this latest relationship hiccup is to be mysteriously summoned to the roller derby track by a naked woman who throws herself at him.
This gives him an opportunity to pontificate magnificently about his station in life and the probability that karma has played a divine role in it. His latest hookup was drawn to him by his investment and meticulous thought where the women in his life are concerned.
“I think I’ve been trying to fill a hole in my heart with extraordinary savings,” Jill tells Andy in an attempt to reconcile. But talks break down when she learns of his afternoon delight with the random roller derby girl. Her solution is to have sex with Doug out of spite, which is an incredibly moronic move even for awful Jill.
This season of final throes is certainly an homage to years past, including Doug’s childish banter (at least directed at an actual child this time), Andy giving Shane a sex talk, immigrant neighbors encroaching, Silas getting his ass handed to him, and Nancy watching her child play soccer.
Shane invites his girlfriend and classmate Angela on a double date, and Daniele Watts is a refreshingly delightful addition to this menagerie, unlike many who have come and gone. Their romance seems refreshingly honest, and it’s almost easy to forget how much baggage Shane is bringing to the table.
He does seem almost normal under her influence, even though their evening with Detective Oulette and his lady friend is decidedly unromantic. Angela seems to think she has her eyes wide open, but it’s just a matter of time before any number of skeletons come tumbling out of the Botwin family closet.
Silas catches grief from Shane about his blossoming business relationship with RJ, the idiot hydroponics sales guy from the previous episode. RJ calls them “artisans” and attempts to parlay Shane’s criticism into an opportunity for a bromance-with-benefits, but Silas is staunchly “no homo.”
Since no business move can ever pan out for him, Silas later finds that RJ has made off with all the goods, under the pretense that Silas doesn’t understand the spiritual aspects involved, and will be better off this way (which is true, but creates a frustrating problem regardless). “You see it as drugs to push…,” he says. “But it’s not dead. It’s alive. It’s ancient. It knows things…. You control them or they control you…. You don’t understand the gift you have….”
Nancy blackmails Stevie’s way onto the local soccer team, where he is a natural. Just ask the racist Connecticut blue bloods. Nancy’s wheedling lasts through almost an entire day before the league director puts the screws to her for a kickback to cement Stevie’s spot as a team all-star. The sideline parents are at least as terrible (and nowhere near as stunning) as Elizabeth Perkins’ sorely missed Celia once was, though Nancy finds herself with both feet planted firmly on the other side.
Speaking of bad business, Kiku continues to be a poor Nancy. In a fit of grief, she seems to have shared her bed with Sarge’s moronic triplets (but at least one of them shares Nancy’s spiritual need for a drastic life change). Nancy tells Kiku she’s ready to settle up and cash out her half of the business, which nets her not cash but half their bulk order of unsold marijuana.
Perhaps to clear her head, Nancy takes another night swim, and this time she gets to chat face to face with Rabbi Dave. He’s cool with her evening rituals, and she’s grateful that he doesn’t mind her crashing. “I used to have a pool,” she recalls, hoping that “maybe I’m going to emerge a different person.”
As Rabbi Dave explains, “you get endless chances to be new,” which we can at least see in this show’s philosophy of reinvention and forward motion. “I thought I was new,” Nancy laments. “I can’t keep making the same choices.” That’s how she ends up visiting her new neighbors to toss her half of Kiku’s bulk weed into the wood chipper.
Maybe Nancy is growing as a human being (probably not?), but either way, this manages to accomplish a series reset. Where will the Botwin-Price-Wilson clan turn now for financial solvency?